The Herald Bulletin

March 2, 2014

Jesse Wilkerson: Perception versus reality, which is greater?

The Herald Bulletin

---- — As an architect, I have the opportunity to see a space’s potential rather than how it literally appears. There isn’t a day goes by that I may see a building, a space, or an area of property that my mind doesn’t set in motion ideas for that building’s or space’s or property’s potential to be something different.

I am aware of concepts and ideas that reflect space’s potential future. It is as real to me as if the design work had already happened, but it doesn’t exist yet. It is not until fully engaged in the work of designing that I have the actual potential to insert my ideas, education, and or background into redefining something into reality. At that moment, I am free to explore any potential that a space has to be converted to meet the need of my client and also give the space a voice to speak something different.

What do you consider reality?

By definition reality is, “something that actually exists or happens.” Reality is a boundary by which we gauge the world we live in today. It appeals to our senses because it has a tangible presence. We can see reality. We can feel reality. It can be described as a dose of the truth in life.

What about perception?

Perception is, by definition, “the way you think about or understand someone or something.” I would like to add to that definition “based upon your own personal background.” Your upbringing, exposure and understanding play a role in your perception of things, places, and people.

How do you know the difference between the two? I have been in circles where perceptions have become some people’s reality. Some people have the gift of being cognizant of the future. They get there before us. Bill Gates has it. Mark Zuckerberg has it. Ray Kroc had it. And so do countless others. I have been exploring this topic for some time and have come to realize that there are some perceptions that need to be changed. People think what they want to think based upon their own programming. It doesn’t make it mine or your reality.

How do you change false perceptions? You change perceptions by educating, exposing, and challenging them with truth, fact, and a bit of reality. I say, “a bit of reality” because some people use reality to diffuse creativity, innovation and exploration. With the right circumstances, individuals and information, some realities have the ability to change, mature, and even develop into something else.

Why give up on your dream because someone tells you it isn’t real to them. Don’t change course because of obstacles that present themselves. Find out what environment is best for your dream and plant yourself there. It will change everyone’s perception of you into a reality.

Jesse J Wilkerson is the owner of a local architecture and design firm. His column appears here every other Monday.